Editor’s Note: Atlanta Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli, a former Porter-Gaud High School star, chronicles the NFL season each Sunday for The Post and Courier.
One of the reasons I signed with Atlanta in 2007 was because I felt like this was an up-and-coming franchise.
I knew the Atlanta Falcons were serious about putting together a team that would make the playoffs and contend for Super Bowls.
For the last three years, we’ve been a relevant team in the NFL. We’ve had three straight winning seasons, something that has never happened around here. We had 11 wins in 2008 and 13 in 2010. A year ago, I felt like we were the best team in the NFC, we had nine Pro Bowl players.
I felt like this was the year for us. We have the talent in place, the coaching staff, the fan support, everything. We had motivation because of coming up short in the playoffs.
That’s why our 1-2 start is such a mystery to me. I can’t put my finger on why we’ve started this season so slowly.
Expectations are high and right now we’re not handling the expectations very well. Many of the so-called experts and pundits were picking us to get to the Super Bowl. Sometimes that’s the difference between good teams and great teams. The great teams can handle the expectations and the pressure that comes with that. New England, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, those teams have a bull’s eye on their backs every Sunday.
We should know by now that we can’t sneak up on anyone. That we’re going to get a team’s best shot because we’ve been successful the last three years. We’ve created this, we’re responsible for the expectations because of what we’ve done in the past and now we’ve got to start living up to the hype.
Tampa Bay loss
The last three years we’ve owned the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now, Tampa Bay hasn’t been the greatest team lately, but last year they had really started to come on.
I think we’d lost to them once in the last six games. Like I said last week, this is a divisional game and they are important.
We just didn’t get it done and the blame falls on the offense. I wasn’t on the field that much, which made watching the game that much more frustrating.
We couldn’t run the ball effectively and Matt Ryan was pressured for most of the afternoon. Michael Turner rushed for only 20 yards. We threw the ball well at times, but, honestly, we never really got into a rhythm. Guys who rarely drop the ball like Roddy White were dropping balls all over the field in critical moments.
As bad as we played we still had a chance to win the game, but couldn’t make a play when we needed it.
This was a tough loss to swallow.
On the road again
We travel cross country to Seattle this Sunday. We’re leaving a day early on Friday to get acclimated.
The Seahawks are not a very good team right now, but when you’re 1-2, you can’t take anything for granted.
We’ve got to get our confidence back and start playing like we know how to play. It’s still early in the season and I know we can be the team we expect to be.
Its starts today in Seattle.